The Michigan BIRCWH's goal is to develop a cadre of new junior faculty scholars through a mentored scholarly research experience leading to independent scientific careers addressing interdisciplinary women's health concerns. The University of Michigan has a broad interest and significant expertise in women's health evidenced in the Institute for Research on Women and Gender.
We will train a minimum of three clinician scientists and two non-clinical postdoctoral scientists per year for a minimum of two years each. Recruitment and selection will focus on identifying scholars with superior academic potential and scientific skills with special attention to achieving a diversity of scholars and scholarship. Each scholar will have an assigned mentor: an established, independent investigator with a proven track record who has been selected for his/her commitment and track record support for junior colleagues in their development to independence. We will target scholars for areas of special interest in:
- Pelvic Floor/Urogynecology Research
- Health Services Research
- Reproductive Science and Women's Medicine
- Biobehavioral and Aging Research
The scholars will have 75 percent protected time for research and career development. An individual career development plan will be developed by each scholar and their mentor. It will include, at a minimum, an intensive supervised research experience, instruction and assistance in grant writing and submission, experience in scientific writing, ongoing mentor contact, formal annual evaluation, and instruction in the responsible conduct of research. All scholars participate in the monthly First Tuesday Women's Health interdisciplinary research seminar series at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender. Access to faculty career development programs, advanced courses in biomedical research, biostatistics, epidemiology, and research methodology assistance will be available as appropriate.
A Program Advisory Committee will oversee the program with emphasis on recruitment, selection, ongoing assessment of progress and post-completion tracking of scholars. Support provided by the grant will help assure continued success in our efforts to promote the successful transition of women's health researchers to scientific independence. Of the 10 scholars supported by the Michigan BIRCWH in the initial cycle, all have progressed significantly and are currently in appropriate research-focused positions (seven in tenure-track positions and three in research positions).